On Mon, 2003-11-03 at 17:26, Ahmed Isah wrote:

> In my opinion, Cornelio Hopmann got it all wrong. The issue is not to do
> with selling a useless product that has no demand. Rather, it has to do
> with whether the target market is really aware of the benefits of the
> product to them. This then boils down to illiteracy of the benefits of
> the Internet to the user. Take my case as an example. We provide a 24 PC
> Internet connectivity in an academic environment in Nigeria with about
> 10,000 students and 400 academic staff. Yet, the connectivity was not
> maximally utilised. However, when we embarked on Internet awareness
> training to the students, we now have to plan for more PCs as the
> students continue to troop in.

On the contrary. He is making some points that people tend to miss a lot
of the time. Internet as Magic Solution to the World's Problems tends to
cloud otherwise good vision.

You essentially describe a case where you are generating demand which
ties in with his point that there is little demand to start with. He is
in effect saying the the real demand is at a more basic level (pumping
more mundane knowledge into people's brains) to which I might venture to
add the possibility that this is what will drive up demand to make the
impact of increased connectivity worth the direct cost (and indirect
cost from non-executed alternatives given a fixed potential amount of

It's sort of the same as the local content issue. No one seems to know
what to do with technology in certain areas such as so-called 'sub'
Saharan Africa and this results in incomplete ideas, such as just supply
bandwidth and some fuzzy benefit and it will all work out fine.

I guess people are trying to understand how the action will connect to
real benefits especially after having seen decades of failure for
development in general.

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